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Vacation Nutrition | OnPoint Nutrition

 

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is crucial for maintaining healthy eating habits while traveling. Without a plan, it’s easy to fall into the trap of grabbing the most convenient (often unhealthy) food options. By taking a little time to prepare, you can ensure that you have access to nutritious choices that align with your dietary goals.

Here’s how you can plan effectively:

1. Research Your Destination

Before you leave, research the food options available at your destination. Look for restaurants that offer healthy choices and grocery stores where you can stock up on nutritious snacks. Websites and apps like Yelp and Google Maps can be very helpful in finding places that cater to your dietary needs.

2. Pack Smart Snacks

Bringing your own healthy snacks can help you avoid the temptation of fast food and other unhealthy options. Consider packing:

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dried fruits
  • Protein bars
  • Whole grain crackers

These snacks are not only nutritious but also convenient for travel.

3. Create a Meal Plan

Develop a simple meal plan for your trip. Identify meals you can prepare or easily find at your destination. This can help you stay on track and reduce the stress of deciding what to eat.

 

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is essential for your overall health, especially when traveling. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches, and other health issues, which can dampen your travel experience.

Here are 3 tips to ensure you stay hydrated:

1. Drink Plenty of Water

Traveling can dehydrate you, especially if you’re flying. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout your trip. Carry a reusable water bottle with you and refill it whenever possible.

2. Limit Sugary Drinks

While it might be tempting to indulge in sodas, sugary cocktails, and other sweetened beverages, try to limit these as much as possible. Instead, opt for:

  • Water
  • Herbal teas
  • Low-calorie drinks

3. Incorporate Hydrating Foods

Include foods with high water content in your diet. Fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, watermelons, oranges, and strawberries are excellent options. These not only hydrate but also provide essential vitamins and minerals.

Staying hydrated helps you feel your best and keeps your energy levels up.

 

Make Balanced Choices

Making balanced food choices is key to maintaining your nutrition goals while enjoying your vacation. It helps ensure that you get the necessary nutrients without overindulging in unhealthy options.

Here are some strategies to help you make balanced choices:

Opt for Balanced Meals: When dining out, aim for balanced meals that include a good mix of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates.

Look for dishes that include:

  • Vegetables
  • Lean proteins like chicken or fish
  • Whole grains

Balanced meals help keep your energy levels stable and prevent overeating. For example, a balanced dinner might include grilled salmon, quinoa, and a side of mixed vegetables.

Practice Portion Control: It’s easy to overeat when you’re on vacation, especially with larger restaurant portions. Consider sharing meals, asking for half portions, or split up your meal when it arrives and ask for a to-go container to pack away the rest for later. Eating smaller amounts more frequently can also help manage hunger and prevent overeating.

Limit Processed Foods: Try to limit the consumption of processed foods, which are often high in added sugars, unhealthy fats, and sodium. Instead, focus on whole foods that are minimally processed, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

Mindful Eating: Practice mindful eating by paying attention to your hunger and fullness cues. Eat slowly and savor each bite, which can help you recognize when you’re satisfied and prevent overeating. Mindful eating also enhances the enjoyment of your meals and helps you make better food choices. 

 

Stay Active

Staying active is essential for maintaining your health and well-being while traveling. Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine can help you stay energized, manage stress, and balance your food intake.

Here are 3 tips to help you stay active while on vacation:

1. Incorporate Physical Activity

Keeping active is crucial for maintaining your health while traveling. Here are some ways to stay active:

  • Walking: Take a walk around the city, visit parks, or hike local trails. Walking is a great way to get to know your destination and stay active at the same time.
  • Swimming: If your accommodation has a pool or you’re near a beach, take advantage of the opportunity to swim. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that works the whole body.
  • Hiking: Explore natural landscapes by hiking. Look for local hiking trails or nature reserves.
  • Exploring on Foot: Spend time walking around local markets, museums, and other attractions. This not only keeps you active but also enhances your travel experience.

Many hotels also offer fitness centers or nearby trails.

2. Routine Workouts

If you have a workout routine, try to stick to it as much as possible. You can do bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, and lunges in your hotel room, or use fitness apps for guided workouts.

Here are a few tips for maintaining your workout routine:

  • Hotel Fitness Centers: Many hotels have fitness centers. Use the available equipment to maintain your exercise routine.
  • Bodyweight Exercises: Exercises like push-ups, squats, lunges, and planks can be done anywhere. These exercises use your body weight to build strength and can be modified to suit your fitness level.
  • Fitness Apps: Use fitness apps to access guided workouts. Apps like Nike Training Club or FitOn offer a variety of workouts that can be done with minimal or no equipment.
  • Yoga: Practicing yoga can help you stay flexible and reduce stress. Apps like Yoga for Beginners and Down Dog offer guided yoga sessions.

3. Stay Active Throughout the Day

Incorporate physical activity into your daily activities. For example:

  • Take the Stairs: Choose stairs over elevators or escalators whenever possible.
  • Walk Instead of Driving: If your destination is walkable, opt to walk instead of using a car or public transport.
  • Active Sightseeing: Combine sightseeing with physical activity. For example, take a walking tour or rent a bike to explore the city.

 

Enjoy Local Cuisine Mindfully

One of the most enjoyable aspects of traveling is indulging in local cuisine. However, it’s important to do so mindfully to maintain your health and nutrition goals.

Here are some tips to enjoy local food without overindulging:

Taste Local Delicacies: One of the joys of traveling is experiencing local cuisine. Allow yourself to enjoy these foods, but do so mindfully. Try smaller portions of rich or high-calorie dishes and balance them with healthier options throughout the day.

Here’s how:

  • Try Smaller Portions: Opt for smaller portions of rich or high-calorie dishes. This way, you can taste a variety of foods without overindulging.
  • Balance Your Meals: If you know you’ll be having a rich or indulgent meal, balance it with lighter, healthier options throughout the day. For example, if you plan to have a decadent dinner, choose a salad or a vegetable-based dish for lunch.
  • Prioritize Healthy Options: Whenever possible, choose dishes that include vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. These foods will help you feel full and satisfied without consuming too many calories.

Eat Slowly and Savor Your Food: Eating slowly can help you enjoy your food more and recognize when you’re full, helping to prevent overeating. Savor each bite and take the time to appreciate the flavors and textures of the local dishes.

Here are some ways to practice mindful eating:

  • Take Small Bites: Take smaller bites and chew your food thoroughly. This allows you to fully enjoy the flavors and textures of the food.
  • Put Down Your Fork Between Bites: Putting your fork down between bites can help you slow down

 

Setting Up for Success Post Travel

Maintaining healthy eating habits doesn’t end when your vacation does. Here’s how you can set yourself up for success once you return home:

Plan Meals Ahead of Time: Plan meals for the first few days back and create a shopping list. This will help you get back into your routine quickly without the stress of figuring out what to eat last minute.

Schedule Grocery Delivery/Pickup: Schedule grocery deliveries with services like Instacart or Walmart Grocery in advance. This way, you can have fresh groceries waiting for you when you return.

Freezer Prep Before You Leave: Prepare and freeze meals in advance. Try freezing lasagna or chicken stir-fry portions. This ensures you have healthy, homemade meals ready to go when you get back.

Meal Kits or Meal Delivery Services: Order from your favorite meal service to have pre-portioned ingredients ready to cook. This can save time and help you get back to eating balanced meals without the hassle of meal prep.

 

Enjoying Traveling and a Healthy Lifestyle

Traveling doesn’t have to derail your healthy eating habits.

By planning ahead, making balanced choices, staying hydrated, and incorporating physical activity, you can maintain your nutrition goals even on vacation. Remember, it’s all about balance and enjoying your experiences without feeling deprived.

If you need more personalized advice or support, our team of expert dietitians at OnPoint Nutrition is here to help you every step of the way. Thousands of people just like you have taken on big health goals and found themselves stuck between trying to live life and meet those milestones of health. You are not between a rock and a hard place. You just have to learn to navigate these times, and with the help of an expert, you will find it is easier than you think.

If you’re ready to take control of your health journey, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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